UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As dairy producers face a myriad of options in response to milk supply management difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Penn State Extension Dairy Team has resources to support their decision-making process.
Several webinars have been held over the past several weeks designed to help producers weigh their options in a thoughtful way. The webinars, listed below, address the major interruptions in the dairy economy, and the challenges they bring to producers.
The webinars are online and available at the convenience of the producer. They feature extension personnel, and each webinar has questions and answers at the conclusion, posed by those watching when it was aired live.
Producers are faced with making decisions on reducing production on their farms while still maintaining cash flow, a challenging, delicate situation.
Not every option will work for every farm, so the webinars are focused on helping producers consider which options work best for their individual farms. Among the considerations for dairy farms is focusing on short term options while weighing the pros and cons of positioning themselves to stay in the dairy industry.
The webinars encourage producers to understand their own management goals, and stress the importance of evaluating their cost of production.
To survive this huge economic downturn, producers will need to make adjustments to feeding strategies, heifer management and other areas of management, all of which are addressed in the webinars.
The webinars can all be accessed through the extension website, https://extension.psu.edu/animals-and-livestock/dairy
- Weighing Your Options Through Milk Supply Management – Jud Heinrichs, professor of dairy science and Robert J. Van Saun, extension veterinarian
- Evaluating Dairy Farm Costs for Future Decisions – Tim Beck, extension educator and Virginia Ishler, extension dairy specialist
- Knowing When to Hold and When to Fold – Considerations for When it’s Time to Exit the Dairy Business – Tim Beck, extension educator and Lisa Holden, associate professor of dairy science.
- Long Term Decisions Through Milk Supply Management – Tim Beck, extension educator and Robert Goodling, Jr., extension associate, dairy
For producers with individual questions, please feel free to contact your local extension office or one of the dairy educators listed on the webpage. Also, it is possible to call the helpline at 1-888-373-7232 with questions.
–Sally Brown Bair, Penn State University